By Jennifer McRae

DENVER (CBS4)– The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is launching another year of NextCycle Colorado, it’s third in a row. The program is designed to boost remanufacturing solutions for recycled or recovered content in the state.

Remanufacturing involves taking a used commodity and turning it into new or better-than-new condition. The commitment to NextCycle Colorado is designed to help the state reach its 45% statewide landfill diversion rate by the year 2036.

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According to the CDPHE, “Businesses accepted into the program are provided individualized technical support and mentorship by Resource Recycling Systems to refine their ideas and develop investable and shovel-ready business plans. Teams that advance through NextCycle are eligible to apply for CDPHE grant funding.”

During the first two years of the program, CDPHE recruited and supported 15 teams, all with the potential to bolster Colorado’s recycling markets. of those teams, five were awarded grants by the Recycling Resource Economic Opportunity program to grow their businesses.

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According to the CDPHE, some of the previously successful NextCycle Colorado teams include:
• Vartega, a plastic composite recycling startup located in Golden, Colo. Vartega has developed a process to recycle carbon fiber, a high value and difficult-to-recycle commodity. Through NextCycle, the company was able to explore the regional supply chain for composite plastics and secure investment to fuel the growth of their business.
• Table to Farm Compost started in the NextCycle Colorado program as an early stage collaborative team interested in food waste and organics recovery in the southwest corner of the state. The team received technical composting assistance and fostered partnerships needed to start the region’s first successful composting collection and processing program.
• Timber Age Systems Inc. was the winner of the 2020 Pitch Session. The start-up developed an idea to utilize previously unused local timber in southwest Colorado to produce cross laminated timber, an environmentally sustainable building material crafted from sawed, glued, and layered wood. Through the program, the company was able to significantly advance its business model and CDPHE subsequently awarded them more than $430,000 to fund the creation of an expanded, longer term manufacturing facility.

“Thank you, NextCycle Colorado, for taking the time to encourage us. We look back on our NextCycle time as extremely important in the maturation and focus of the company,” said Timber Age Systems Co-Founder Andy Hawk in a statement. “We made contacts and received encouragement we couldn’t dream of in other incubators or accelerators.’’

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For more information about the program and application, please visit the department’s cdphe.colorado.gov/next-cycle-colorado or email nextcycle@recycle.com.

Jennifer McRae